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The Asia Pacific Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (APATAP) Committee is excited to announce that our annual conference will be held at Disneyland, Hong Kong from 25 - 27 February 2019.

Our conference theme this year is “Online threats, offline lives: Reality and Practice of Online Threat Management”. This is a highly relevant theme to today’s society and reflects current advancements in the use of technology and social media in assessing and managing global, local, and individual-level threats.

We invite all mental health, law enforcement, security, workplace health and safety, and other professionals tasked with the prevention and response of behavioural risks to join us in this learning and networking opportunity.

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Presentation [clear filter]
Tuesday, February 26
 

10:15am

URL for IRL: Bringing online cultural competency to threat assessment and management

Although cross-cultural knowledge and sensitivity is recognised as crucial to accuracy, comprehension, and planning in modern threat assessment, the role and relevance of online cultures remain largely unexplored.
   
For “digital natives”, the line between online and offline culture has  blurred almost to the point of erasure: as users of digital devices from  infancy, their identities, relationships, ethics, and sociopolitical activity  take place through online platforms and subcultures with conventions and  signifiers that may appear fleeting, obscure, or simply absurd to casual  internet users and other “digital immigrants”.
   
This cultural gap may cause misunderstanding of behavioural risks,  motivations, and psychological needs relevant to cases involving online behaviours that intrude, frighten, harass, and cause harm, and overlook nuances of behaviour and motivation essential to formulating effective management plans.
   
This presentation seeks to bridge the gap between digital immigrants and digital natives by providing an overview of several online communities,  including fandoms and grievance-fuelled groups, exploring terms and concepts to inform expert assessment, and will advocate for online culture-specific questions to be included in risk assessment interviews.

Speakers
avatar for Annabel Chan

Annabel Chan

Director, Clinical Psychologist, Right In The Head & Children's Court Clinic
Dr Annabel Chan is a Director of Right In The Head Threat Management and Psychological Services and a Senior Psychologist for the Children’s Court Clinic of Victoria. She is a Clinical Psychologist and Forensic Registrar registered and endorsed by the Psychology Board of Australia... Read More →
avatar for Luke Bartlett

Luke Bartlett

Director, Lead Trainer, Right In The Head & CoHealth
Luke is a Registered Nurse and Lead Trainer with Right in the Head, with over 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry. His practice history includes acute psychiatric care with patients of Mercy Health and the Royal Children's Hospital, and a range of educational projects... Read More →


11:15am

Stalking in Hong Kong: Exploring the Perceptions and Experiences

Despite the great interest in the study of stalking, little is known about the stalking victimization in Hong Kong. In this study, a large sample of young adults from 10 universities in Hong Kong are sampled. Perceptions and experiences in stalking victimization and perpetration are described.

Speakers
OC

Oliver Chan

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF CRIMINOLOGY, CITY UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
Heng Choon (Oliver) Chan, PhD, is an associate professor of criminology in the Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences at City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, SAR. His research focuses on stalking behavior, sexual homicide, offender profiling, sex offending, homicide, and... Read More →


11:45am

Catfishing: A Cyber World to Real World Case Study in Deception, Stalking, & Violence Risk

Catfishing is a unique crime in which a subject creates a fake online persona in order to scam others.  The term was coined by the 2010 documentary “Catfish” as a reference to putting catfish in cod tanks during transpacific shipping in order keep the cod actively swimming.  In cyber environments, the analogy is that the catfish keeps online users thinking and on alert for scams.  The film later gave rise to the 2012 MTV series “Catfish,” and several high profile cases of online scams, most notably the 2013 false girlfriend persona of Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o.  In 2013, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Office of Protective Intelligence Investigations (DS/PII) became involved in a complex catfishing investigation when the U.S. Embassies in Moldova and Bulgaria received separate phone calls that an American female high school student was reportedly kidnapped in Bulgaria.  An extensive investigation involving DS, the FBI, and Bulgarian authorities to find the missing student ensued, but could not locate her.  Further investigative efforts revealed anomalies in the story.  A review of cell phone records and social media profiles determined that missing student was actually a fictitious persona created by one of the callers to target the second caller, who was the “boyfriend” of the fictitious persona.  The persona turned out to be an actual person whose online identity was stolen by the subject.  The subject used both physical stalking and cyberstalking to collect intelligence on the girl.  The subject then used the fictitious female profile to lure his male schoolmates into sexting him, instigating violence amongst them, and placing them at risk for being predated on by sex offenders.  The subject’s masterful plot was exposed by DS/PII, and he was arrested and convicted.    

Speakers
avatar for Russell Palarea

Russell Palarea

President, Operational Psychology Services (OPS)
Dr. Russell Palarea is the Founder and President of Operational Psychology Services (OPS). He is an internationally recognized expert on threat assessment, insider threat, and counterterrorism, providing consultation in these areas to Fortune 500 corporations, global security firms... Read More →


12:15pm

Defining Domestic Child Sex Trafficking in Australia

Domestic child sex trafficking is often thought of as a crime that happens “somewhere else”, with most conceptualisations involving a child who is internationally trafficked.  Despite the commonly held view that Australia is resistant to trafficking, there are numerous cases which appear to fit the International and Australian legal definition of trafficking, which warrant further consideration.  A barrier to the identification and prosecution of these cases is the lack of clarity around a definition of domestic child trafficking; a challenge which is often identified in the child trafficking literature. The current research explored the definitional nuances of a definition of domestic child sex trafficking, using a Delphi methodology.  A panel of participants who have expertise in the field of child exploitation took part in several rounds of online surveys, to reach a consensus of a definition of domestic child sex trafficking within Australia. The current results will be used for further research into domestic child trafficking, but will also be useful in shaping policy.

Speakers
avatar for Zoe Knorre

Zoe Knorre

Clinical Psychologist/PhD Candidate, Bond University
Zoe Knorre is a Clinical Psychologist who is investigating domestic child trafficking within Australia. Zoe has worked with sex offenders throughout her career, and is dedicated to highlighting the issue of child trafficking within Australia.


1:45pm

Understanding, Assessing, and Managing Thoughts of Violence in Threat Assessment

Violent thoughts include an interest in or preoccupation with violence and a desire or willingness to use violence. They may include ideas, fantasies, images, urges, or plans. Violent thoughts are often overlooked by professionals despite the fact that they are a primary warning sign for violence risk according to research, practice, and law. Although violent thoughts are a normal human experience, when they are recent and serious it is critical to evaluate these thoughts as a means of preventing (possible) escalation to actual, attempted or threatened violence.

The first part of this presentation will provide an in-depth discussion of conceptual issues related to violent thoughts, including the definition of violent thoughts, theories about the aetiology and function of violent thoughts, and research on the prevalence and nature of violent thoughts and their association with violence risk. The second part of this presentation will provide a comprehensive discussion of practical issues related to violent thoughts, including the collecting information about violent thoughts using the THREATS acronym (Threats of Harm that are Realistic, Explicit, Acute, Targeted and Studied), which will be illustrated using a case study.

Speakers
avatar for Stephen Hart

Stephen Hart

Director, Protect International Risk and Safety Services Inc.
Dr. Hart's work focuses on the assessment and management of violence risk, including mental disorders related to violence risk such as psychopathic personality disorder, psychosis, and paraphilic disorder. He is a Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of the Terrorism, Risk and... Read More →


2:30pm

Assessing origin, authorship and intent of anonymous threats and extortion communications

Effectively managing anonymous threats and extortion demands, especially those delivered online, poses a much more complex and difficult proposition than situations where the subject is known.  The application of clinical assessment instruments is limited, evidence is scarce and options for management and response tend to hinge on an intelligence-based approach. For many, this radically increases the difficulty in terms of decision making and so providing valid focus and direction is critical.  This session will explore the use of psycho-linguistic and behavioural assessment techniques along with behavioural economic and decision theory models that can contribute to understanding the intent and nature of anonymous threats. It will use real life examples and cases where offenders and authors have been identified and/or charged.

Speakers
avatar for Steven Longford

Steven Longford

National Manager - Human Skills, New Intelligence
Steve has been engaged in assessing anonymous threats and extortion communications for both private and public sector organisations for over 30 years. As the former head of Queensland Police's Violent Crime Analysis Unit he trained with members of the ABCI, FBI, ATF and RCMP in threat... Read More →


3:45pm

Assessing online threat in the Victorian security environment

This presentation will provide an overview of the process an intelligence analyst within the counter-terrorism environment and more specifically within Victorian Fixated Threat Assessment Centre (VFTAC). This involves collecting, collating and evaluating information to provide meaningful intelligence to assess threat. Whilst information is drawn from a diverse range of areas to assess threat, social media and the online world provide a vital piece to the puzzle. A trend identified amongst individuals assessed by the VFTAC is that whilst their highly personalised grievance isolates them from their physical communities, this same grievance connects and unites with others online who, too, hold their own personal grievances.  A case study will be utilised to highlight the importance of the online environment in assessing threat; and the benefits and limitations of utilising this data.

Speakers
AL

Anna Lulham

Senior Analyst, Victoria Police
Anna has been an analyst within Law Enforcement for almost four years, including over two years within the counter-terrorism environment. First starting out as an analyst within the left-wing and right-wing extremism team, Anna gained experience assessing online threat to the Victorian... Read More →


 
Wednesday, February 27
 

10:15am

Unravelling the Inductive-Deductive Debate in Behavioural Investigative Advice

There is often heated debate regarding the practice of behavioural investigative advice. Some have vocally claimed that all approaches can be distinguished by their use of inductive or deductive reasoning, with the latter argued to be superior. This paper examines this position and notes that these are far from novel arguments. Indeed, psychology has long recognised the nomothetic-idiographic debate begun by Windelband (1894) and popularised by Allport (1937). It is argued that the dearth of natural laws in behavioural science means that offender profiling and other forms of behavioural investigative advice can rarely achieve the lofty goals required by formal deductive logic. Accordingly, even the most “deductive” profiling opinion is inherently probabilistic. Indeed, an examination of published deductive profiling reports will reveal the application of Piercean abductive reasoning rather than deduction. Such profiling, like other purely idiographic prediction methods, includes an insufficient anchor for decision-making and is prone to bias. Drawing upon the nomothetic-idiographic literature, Bayesian decision theory, pragmatism, and structured decision-making, it is concluded that reliable and flexible behavioural investigative advice necessarily requires an inductive anchor. This provides a fertile ground from which abductive hypotheses can be made in the individual case. Future directions for research and practice will also be described.

Speakers
avatar for Michael Davis

Michael Davis

Consultant Forensic Psychologist, Michael Davis Forensic Psychology Pty Ltd
Dr Michael Davis is a Forensic and Clinical Psychologist in full time private practice. He is an adjunct re-search fellow in the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science at Swinburne University of Technology, an adjunct senior lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at Monash University... Read More →


Wednesday February 27, 2019 10:15am - 10:45am
Sleeping Beauty Ballroom, Conference Centre, Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel

11:15am

Assessment and management of online threats by youth and adolescents: A multi-agency initiative

An adverse outcome of increasing access to the internet has been its use to threaten and harm individuals and groups. This has also lead to a situation where a number of young people are bullied on an ongoing basis even when they have left the confines of the school. On the other hand, some young people use the internet and social media as a tool to express their anger and grievance towards individuals and institutions. The Child & Youth Forensic Outreach Services in Brisbane have been working jointly with a host of law enforcement, educational, mental health and probation services to facilitate assessment and management of young people who have used the media to make threats.

Speakers
VG

Vinesh Gupta

Staff Specialist, CHQ, Queensland Health
Dr Vinesh Gupta is a dually trained psychiatrist in Child and adolescent and Forensic Psychiatry. Dr Scott Harden is the medical director for Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry services for Child Health Queensland.
SH

Scott Harden

Staff Specialist, CHQ, Queensland Health
Dr Scott Harden is the medical director for Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry services for Child Health Queensland.


Wednesday February 27, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
Sleeping Beauty Ballroom, Conference Centre, Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel

12:00pm

Impact to the Rule of Law: Social Media and its Threat to Judicial Independence

An independent judiciary is a vital cog in the wheel of a democracy. Canons of judicial ethics state that decisions should be made impartially and diligently, without fear or favour.  This session will address and explore the proliferation of online threats to the judiciary and how such threats can impact the rule of law.  The U.S. National Judicial College has endeavoured to survey international and domestic judicial officers on this subject and its findings will be addressed in this presentation.  At the conclusion of this session, and supported by the presenter’s personal experiences assessing the risk of violence to judicial institutions worldwide, participants will have a better understanding as to how this impact ultimately changes their professional conduct and decision making; and why healthy protective intelligence programs are the fulcrum point on which judicial independence balances.

Speakers
avatar for John Muffler

John Muffler

Principal, Aequitas Global Security, LLC
John Muffler, United States Marshals Service Chief Inspector (Ret.) was the Administrator of the National Center for Judicial Security (NCJS), a national program that researched, trained and assessed security measures and countermeasures for the global judicial community. He was accepted... Read More →


Wednesday February 27, 2019 12:00pm - 12:45pm
Sleeping Beauty Ballroom, Conference Centre, Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel

1:30pm

Case study: Management of technology-facilitated abuse with a complex cohort

A complex case of cyber abuse from an Australian University setting is presented, within the context of campus threat assessment and management. With the rapid development of the online world, has come online threats that pose new challenges to campus threat assessment and management teams. There is no current consensus on best practice for online threat assessment and management or guidelines around the organisation's duty of care and responsibilities. As a result, targets are often left vulnerable and without recourse, and organisations scramble to appropriately respond to and manage online threats.

The case being presented involved technology-facilitated abuse, experienced by more than 20 students, all of whom identified with an intellectual disability. The harassment persisted over a 6 month period via social media, and the perpetrator/s were never identified, however, were assumed to be part of the University community. The case had a significant impact on three vulnerable cohort groups of students, the academic staff, and support service staff. The case was investigated and managed by the University, in partnership with external specialist agencies.

This presentation will summarise the issues and interventions up to the point of case closure, to demonstrate the approach to case management and resolution. The focus will be on highlighting the challenges and successes experienced, as well as the lessons learned.

Committee
ED

Elli Darwinkel

Manager, Speak Up, La Trobe University
Dr Darwinkel has a PhD in the field of Forensic Psychology, specialising in investigative interviews of sexual assault and child abuse. She established the Safer Community program for campus threat management at Victoria University, and currently manages Speak Up at La Trobe University... Read More →


2:00pm

Navigating Online Threats in the Tertiary Education Sector: Limitations & Learnings

Judging intent when assessing online threats within universities can be tricky. Staff reactions to threats can influence the outcome of a case, even if a risk assessment is undertaken, and the recommendations stipulate a comprehensive approach to case managing the concern-: the student. It is easier to remove the perceived threat by excluding the student, rather than investing time and resources to manage the concern. The perception that risk is eliminated when a student is excluded is challenging because it transfers the problem elsewhere instead of addressing the matter.

Consider a scenario in which a student emailed multiple death threats to her teacher overnight. She had gotten caught cheating on her exam, and received an academic misconduct. She was suspended for 2 weeks, during which she was required to undergo a psychological assessment to consider her eligibility in returning to study. The assessment revealed a history of issuing online threats to men she became sexually involved with. This behaviour extended to men in positions of authority, who are regarded as threats. She claimed she never intended to act on the threats, but sent them out of desperation at the thought of failing. The recommendations prescribed a structured case management approach, which the university feels is risky to endorse.

This topic will explore the following dilemmas-: If enacting a case management plan is a potential strategy to manage the threat, are we possibly discarding our responsibility by considering exclusion? Is the response measured, or is a viable solution being dismissed in favour of a risk-averse approach to perceived threats? By focusing mainly on staff reactions, we jeopardize assessing the level of threat accurately as we lose objectivity. Does this then create further opportunities for threats which could be avoided by containing the risk? Or is it wise to steer towards exclusion to avoid exposure to further threats?

Speakers
avatar for Rameeza Barnes

Rameeza Barnes

Acting Manager, Safer Community, Swinburne University of Technology
Rameeza Barnes is currently the Acting Manager of Safer Community at Swinburne University of Technology. Her experience in the tertiary education sector includes having worked as an International Student Advisor and a Student Advocacy Advisor for Swinburne. Rameeza has a background... Read More →


2:30pm

Restorative processes for threat management and reintegration

How do we respond to problematic student and staff behaviour that pose a threat to our campus community?

Through using restorative approaches threats and problematic behaviour of staff and students can be managed in a way that addresses risks and needs, but also includes those impacted by the behaviour, and works to reconnect and reintegrate the perpetrators into the community. Through non-adversarial and relational approach perpetrators can be assisted to identify the harm they caused, access the support and intervention they require and enhance their social capital and community connection in a manner that does not leave them more isolated and potentially more dangerous.

This presentation will demonstrate how restorative practices including connection circles, restorative conversations, and restorative justice conferences can become a valuable tool for both identifying and responding to threatening behaviour. It will talk to how you can create a restorative culture on your campus to fundamentally shift the way your institution approaches threat management, while still utilizing appropriate risk assessment and intervention tools.

Speakers
EM

Emma Mossman

Manager Student Interest and Conflict Resolution, Victoria University of Wellington
Emma Mossman has a background working in the criminal justice sector in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia, studying Psychology and then completing a Masters in Social Work. She commenced her career as a Parole Officer working predominantly with high risk anti-social gang... Read More →


3:30pm

Multiple targets in online public figure stalking cases

Those individuals who engage in online stalking behaviour often do so towards multiple targets, including public officials, family members and other members of the public. The Australian Federal Police Fixated Threat Assessment Team (AFP FTAT) assesses and manages threats to Australian Commonwealth High Office Holders and Protected Establishments, and have identified a number of cases where individuals have directed concerning online communications to multiple individuals. Cases where individuals have made online threats to both public office holders and members of the public will be discussed.

Speakers
FR

Felicity Riddle

Clinical Psychologist, Australian Federal Police Fixated Threat Assessment Team
Ms Felicity Riddle is a Clinical Psychologist working with the Australian Federal Police Fixated Threat Assessment Team. Prior to AFP FTAT, Felicity has worked in a police liaison role providing advice and assistance in instances where a mental health issue was identified. She has... Read More →


4:15pm

Grievance Fuelled Violence: The Intersection of Mental Health, Radicalism, and Targeted Violence

Over the last few years, a number of studies analysing characteristics and behaviours of a range of grievance-fueled violent actors have emerged. These include school shooters, mass murderers, lone actor terrorists, attackers of politicians, and public figures. Whilst providing insight into the behavioural trajectory to such violence, their operational utility may be constrained: Only those actors that successfully committed or attempted to commit such acts of violence are sampled. Others who did not do so, whilst exhibiting similar vulnerabilities, risk factors, and concerning behaviours, are typically omitted, largely because of a reliance upon open-source data.

This research uses three data sets; focusing on lone actor terrorists, mass murderers, and fixated individuals. These data sets are compared to identify similarities and differences between indicators for grievance fuelled violence. The data set of fixated individuals, built from pre-violence indicators taken from London's Fixated Threat Assessment Centre, acts as a control group for pre-violent behavioural indicators. The results of the analysis help further current understanding of movements towards grievance fuelled violence, and offer alternative prevention initiatives in this space.

Speakers
EC

Emily Corner

Lecturer, Australian National University
Dr Emily Corner is a Lecturer of Criminology at the Centre for Social Research and Methods at the Australian National University. Prior to joining ANU, Emily was a Research Associate at the department of Security and Crime Science at University College London, working on projects... Read More →